Weekly counts of new measles cases for the 17 administrative districts (NUTS-3 level) of the “Weser-Ems” region of Lower Saxony, Germany, during 2001 and 2002, as reported to the Robert Koch institute according to the Infection Protection Act (“Infektionsschutzgesetz”, IfSG).
data("measlesWeserEms") is a corrected version of data("measles.weser") (see Format section below). These data are illustrated and analyzed in Meyer et al. (2017, Section 5), see vignette("hhh4_spacetime").



data("measles.weser") is an object of the old "disProg" class, whereas data("measlesWeserEms") is of the new class "sts".

Furthermore, the following updates have been applied for data("measlesWeserEms"):

  • it includes the two districts “SK Delmenhorst” (03401) and “SK Wilhemshaven” (03405) with zero counts, which are ignored in data("measles.weser").

  • it corrects the time lag error for year 2002 caused by a redundant pseudo-week “0” with 0 counts only (the row measles.weser$observed[53,] is nonsense).

  • it has one more case attributed to “LK Oldenburg” (03458) during 2001/W17, i.e., 2 cases instead of 1. This reflects the official data as of “Jahrbuch 2005”, whereas data("measles.weser") is as of “Jahrbuch 2004”.

  • it contains a map of the region (as a "SpatialPolygonsDataFrame") with the following variables:


    district label.


    district area in m^2.


    number of inhabitants (as of 31/12/2003).


    proportion with a vaccination card among screened abecedarians (2004).


    proportion with at least one vaccination against measles among abecedarians presenting a vaccination card (2004).


    proportion of doubly vaccinated abecedarians among the ones presenting their vaccination card at school entry in the year 2004.

  • it uses the correct format for the official district keys, i.e., 5 digits (initial 0).

  • its attached neighbourhood matrix is more general: a distance matrix (neighbourhood orders) instead of just an adjacency indicator matrix (special case nbOrder == 1).

  • population fractions represent data as of 31/12/2003 (LSN, 2004, document “A I 2 - hj 2 / 2003”). There are only minor differences to the ones used for data("measles.weser").


Measles counts were obtained from the public SurvStat database of the Robert Koch institute: https://survstat.rki.de/.

A shapefile of Germany's districts as of 01/01/2009 was obtained from the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (https://gdz.bkg.bund.de/). The map of the 17 districts of the “Weser-Ems” region (measlesWeserEms@map) is a simplified subset of this shapefile using a 30% reduction via the Douglas-Peucker reduction method as implemented at https://MapShaper.org.

Population numbers were obtained from the Federal Statistical Office of Lower Saxony (LSN): https://www.statistik.niedersachsen.de/themenbereiche/bevoelkerung/

Vaccination coverage was obtained from the public health department of Lower Saxony: Niedersächsisches Landesgesundheitsamt (2005): Impfreport -- Durchimpfung von Kindern im Einschulungsalter in Niedersachsen im Erhebungsjahrgang 2004. Online available from https://www.nlga.niedersachsen.de/gesundheitsberichterstattung/gesundheitsberichte/impfreport/, also as an interactive version.


Meyer, S., Held, L. and Höhle, M. (2017): Spatio-temporal analysis of epidemic phenomena using the R package surveillance. Journal of Statistical Software, 77 (11), 1-55. doi: 10.18637/jss.v077.i11


## old "disProg" object
plot(measles.weser, as.one=FALSE)

## new "sts" object (with corrections)